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FashionMist – African Style Revealed

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Published 25 February 2011

London will once again be demonstrating its fashion credentials by playing host to an exclusive event, FashionMist, which hopes to showcase the African-influenced talents of designers from different parts of the world. This event is a first and not to be missed, whether for fashion newcomers or seasoned shoppers!

Hot on the heels of London Fashion Week, FashionMist will bring together various designers who are of African origin and reflect this in their work and who have found success in the Diaspora as well as within Africa itself. It establishes an important connection between the African continent and the wider world, whilst simultaneously showing that African-influenced designs and Ghanaian textiles can be enjoyed in a number of contexts.

The combination of textiles such as wax print cloth, embroidered adinkra cloth, ewe cloth or kente cloth as well as cottons, silks, chiffon, satin, velvet and mesh fuses elements of traditional Ghanaian cultures and western clothing together. In a context where western styles and aesthetics often dominate, this allows designers to promote alternative conceptions of style and colour. This provides a reminder for the fashion industry that African forms of art, beauty and culture should be appreciated as much as their counterparts around the world. As the collections of Sheila Boateng (N’kya Designs), Mina Evans (Mina Evans), Helena Aidoo-Morrison (Aya Morrison) and Sandi Owusu (Diva Delicious) demonstrate, the African influence of garments and accessories can indeed enhance or improve clothing in a unique and vibrant way.

The power of FashionMist should not be underestimated, particularly in its role in changing people’s conceptions of African textiles and highlighting the wealth of creative talent that is developing everyday – whether in the public eye of a glossy shop-front or hidden away in the privacy of a bedroom – as well as promoting the idea that having an African identity is something to be proud of. Particularly in the west, there is a tendency for people to shy away from wearing African prints, either because they feel intimidated by the vivid colours or perhaps because they don’t believe they fit a certain “image”. The designers hosted by FashionMist aim to dispute these tendencies, showing the versatile range of textiles, colours and prints that can be drawn from the African continent as well as reshaping the image of those who wear these garments. Wearing a dress from N’kya Designs and a clutch bag from Aya Morrison is compatible with being whoever you want to be, whether an African within the Diaspora, an African within the continent or someone who is not African but simply appreciates the beauty and significance of products drawing on Africa for inspiration.

FashionMist will take place on the 26th March 2011 at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Holborn in Central London. There will be a free exhibition from 12pm – 5pm where clothing and accessories can be purchased. From 6pm onwards a ticketed event will be taking place in which featured designers will showcase new and exclusive collections.

Tickets are £15 and part of the proceeds will be donated to organisation Global Mamas. Tickets can be bought via fashionmist@gmail.com.